Location: Baltimore, MD
Years in role: 23
Years at company: 55
LEADERSHIP AND MENTORING: “I work with such a great team of executives. I like to think we inspire each other,” says Myrna LaBarre, corporate secretary at Ellicott Dredge Enterprises LLC. After more than 50 years with the company, LaBarre has what it takes to help newer management members understand how the company works, and how it has stayed in business for 130 years. Her recipe for success? “To be honest, be helpful, accept your mistakes and improve upon them.”
FUN FACT: “I always wanted to be a professional ballroom dancer.”
OVERCOMING CHALLENGES: “When our company was going through a very difficult time in 1998 due to a contract default by the Thai government, we were struggling, and I knew what was coming and how it was going to affect our employees,” says LaBarre. But she was confident the company would survive. In fact, “Ellicott Dredges became stronger and more determined to stay number one in the industry.”
DRIVING VALUE: When Markel Ventures purchased a controlling percentage of Ellicott in November 2009, LaBarre was in charge of collecting not only historical data about Ellicott and its operations, but also current information from all company departments without revealing why, since the project was supposed to be confidential. “It was a challenge for all of management, [but] the end result would allow us to move forward with our company standards of excellence,” she says.